In addition to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Obama administration is fighting on another front: a domestic war of words on how to describe the threat posed by “Islamic” terrorism. . .

The word “Islamist” has come under particular scrutiny–mostly because it can carry numerous and often derogatory connotations. First heard in academic circles, the word eventually found a home in the blogosphere, where hard-line conservatives don’t use it kindly, and Muslims find it offensive.

“I have no idea what the term ‘Islamist’ means,” said Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic relations. “Muslims don’t use the word.”

Groups looking to disparage the entire religion of Islam, he said, typically employ the word. Terms like “Islamo-fascism” and “Islamo-terrorism” are particularly offensive, he said, and should be off-limits. He suggests phrases like “religious extremist,” which can encompass violent movements in other faiths. (More)


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